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Again, we mean that, all in good time, nation is armed and drilled, when every we want the Army Estimates lowered, man shoulders musket once a week or and that we don't see our way to it so, as much as a matter of course as he except through effectual and permanent puts on a decent coat on Sunday mornvolunteering.
ings. That is what will satisfy us as Again, notwithstanding the many respects numbers. noble efforts at social reform in the last As respects proficiency, we shall be twelve years, there is no denying that content when our corps are equal to classes in England are still standing any troops in the world that have never lamentably apart. The difficulty of find- seen actual service-when Lord Clyde, ing a common standing-ground, anything or General Mansfield, or our own Inin which we may all work together and spector-General, declares that he would take our pastime together; where we can as soon go into action with us as with stand shoulder to shoulder, and man to any troops he ever saw, who had not man, each counting for what he is worth ; smelt powder. Why not?
Why not? What is to the peer without condescending, and the hinder it? The short experience we peasant without cringing, is almost as have had proves that we are already great as ever. Here, in volunteering, we treading on the heels of the regulars, if think we have found what may, when we don't beat them, in shooting. Surely, rightly handled, do much towards filling with a little resolution, and steady pracup this gap,—a common subject of in- tice, we can learn our drill as well as terest, a bond which may in the end any of them. Remember, we are only bind the nation together again in many nine months old or so. What may we other ways besides teaching us men how not hope in nine years' time? to form rallying squares, and prepare to Fine talk, my dear Sirs, fine talk; but receive cavalry side by side.
wouldn't it be better to draw it a little Again, we mean that
, to the best of milder, and then people won't laugh so our belief, steady volunteering will make loud at your failures, which are sure to individual Englishmen healthier of body,
To which we reply in the words stronger and steadier of hand, quicker of good old George Herbertof eye, prompter in action, and more generally alert and intelligent than they
“Faint not in spirit; he who aims the are at present.
sky This is not all we mean, but may
“Shoots higher far than he who suffice for the present. And now to pass
means a tree.” to another side of the subject.
And so we leave our doubting friends, As you are so bent on volunteering, with the assurance that no amount of where do you mean to stop? Definite sage or sneering advice, cold water, or aims are desirable things : now, what are inextinguishable laughter shall hinder us you volunteers going to be content with ? from going as near this mark as we can. Will 200,000, with 40,000 or 50,000 The only chance of getting near it at all marksmen among them, do? Will is to start with the resolution to be 500,000, with 100,000 marksmen, do? content with nothing short of thorough We shall have, no doubt, to put up
success. A low standard will make no with much less than we like, even if all good men : we hope to pull up to a very things go well and smoothly (which high one ; in any case, hit or miss, we they most assuredly won't); but if it refuse to square our hopes and cut down comes to talking of being content, we our practice to suit a low one. shall be content with this and nothing But let no one suppose that Volunless : We shall be content when it shall teers are not aware of the enormous be held to be a slur on an adult English- difficulty of the work they have to do. man if he does not know the use of We have all felt something of it already, arms, and the ordinary drill of a sol- and shall soon feel more of it. Just dier. We shall be content when the now, no doubt, volunteering is at flood
tide for the year 1860. We have been without them ; some have but short disreviewed by her Majesty, and rather tances; while others, holding as mere imagine that we have done ourselves tenants at will, on sufferance, are unwil. credit. We are just going to shoot at ling to incur the necessary expenses in the great national meeting, started, erecting a butt on such uncertain tenures. organized, and carried through, entirely A really good range should satisfy the by some of the leading Volunteers of following conditions: It should be 1,000 the kingdom. We look forward shortly yards in length by 10 yards in width; to our great sham-fighting, but not it should be level, or nearly so, along its sham-working, field-day of the season ; entire distance; it should intersect no when we hope to exhibit prodigies of rights of way, and none should cross its valour and intelligence, under the com- line of direction for 1,500 yards from mand of Volunteer brigadiers, but also the back of the targets, unless the ground under the approving and envious eyes rises and forms a natural bar to the of generals and colonels of the regulars. flight of the bullet; it should be readily There will be a very different state of accessible to the members of the corps, things when the next number of this and therefore as central as possible with Magazine appears. The volunteering respect to head-quarters ; it should all appetite will then be beginning to lose be held of one lessor, who should also its edge, and the up-hill work will be possess the land as well at the sides as at hand. Enthusiasm will be cool- at the back of the butt: in addition, ing; very possibly we shall be having there should also be spaces for the small musters, careless drills, lots of marker's butt or mantlet, and for a shed withdrawals, and wiseacres will be say- for shelter. The course, if it may be so ing, '“We always told you how it called, would be not unlike the half-mile would be.”
gallop at Newmarket. We are aware the Very well—we expect that it will be conditions we have mentioned are rarely 80; we accept it, but we don't mean to be to be met with ; but where they do combeat by it. The question will be then, bine, they constitute a first-rate range, how is it to be met? How are we to presenting the grand features of safety pull through the slack water so as to with the constant means of practice. On hold our corps together to make play such a ground, a substantial brick butt
, again the moment the tide turns. That with proper buttresses, 30 feet wide by question will, no doubt, be pressing 20 feet high, with earth-work faced with upon us soon, and will require practical turf up to 12 feet high, and amply sufficonsideration. Meantime, let Volunteers cient for a single company, might be rejoice in the floodetide. 6 Sufficient erected for about 801.; and, including to the day is the evil thereof." We marker's butt and a timber-built shed, will utter nothing like the ghost of for 1001. over all,—and in proportion a croak just now. We shall better for a larger erection. In some places an occupy ourselves by making these pages earth-work altogether might be more the means of imparting to others the cheaply constructed, and, where so, it is experience we have been able to gather the best, and in others a fascine or faggoton the several subjects of interest and butt, and some have tried oak faced with importance that have yet to be settled, iron; but, as a general rule, the brick and we can assure our readers that we wall (14 inch work is enough) will be do so in no pedantic spirit, but in the found the most economical, and it gives hope of aiding our brother Volunteers to that impression of permanency which avoid the mistakes and errors that we of all things at present it is so desir
. have ourselves committed.
able to create. There it stands fixed First in the list of subjects that press and demonstrative against all cavillers for immediate ,solution is that of prac- of the success of the first efforttice ranges for rifle shooting. Some monument of the hearty good-will and companies of early formation are still patriotism of the present generation;
the point around which larger efforts in comfortably together, the simpler the the same direction may centre in future, agreement the better :should the necessity arise. It is not until every village in England contains
“Date (say 24th June, 1860]. Agreeits rifle-practice range, that the Volun
“ment between A. B. [the occupier) and teer system will be established without
“C. D. [the captain of the company), as fear of relapse; and we sincerely trust
“ follows: that the present summer will witness “1. The said A. B. lets, and the the erection of good and substantial " said C. D. takes, at 221. 10s. yearly butts in every part of the country. "rent, the use of the plot marked off
Now it will be found that in most " by white posts from the closes No. 4, neighbourhoods but one such range as we “ 5, and 6 (as the case may be), in the have described could be selected : 1,000 parish map of [name of parish), and yards is a long stretch of land, and “containing 24. 1 R., the rent to be paid when 1,500 more is added to it, it taxes quarterly, and first on the 29th of the capacities of a country, as any engi- “September next. neer, or follower of hounds, will tell you. “ 2. The said plot is to be used as a Harford Bridge Flat, which tried the “Rifle Practice Range for the speed and bottom of the Quicksilver “Volunteers, and such other corps or Mail or Exeter Telegraph teams in the “persons as they may permit, and may old coaching times, was unique in its “ be excavated, and all necessary erecway; and, passing by the other conditions " tions and earth-works made and placed as more or less attainable, it follows as a “ thereon for that purpose. rule, that in any particular district there “ 3. The said A. B. may use the said is but one best range, and it becomes an
“plot for any purpose not interfering object of the greatest importance to the “ with the said C. D.'s uses, but shall not volunteer corps to obtain it.
“ be compensated for any injury to crops We will throw out of consideration “occasioned by such uses, nor permit the cases of those fortunate companies any rifle practice on the plot without that are placed near some friendly pro- “ the said C. D.'s sanction : injuries to prietor, who at once accommodates them "live stock to be compensated for." with all that can be wished for, as these
(Signed) " A. B. form but a small percentage of the whole,
“ C. D." and we will deal with those less happily circumstanced, who are in view of the A copy should be signed by each party, promised land, but are denied the access, and the stamp will be in proportion to and have to conduct the hard negotiation the rent. See the stamp tables. with lukewarm or unfriendly occupiers, And here it will be proper to call who would fain repeat the story of the attention to the false position in which railways, and exact almost fabulous prices corps and companies are placed by the for acreage and accommodation. 1,000 conditions of acceptance of offers of seryards multiplied by 10, gives 2A. OR. 10p. vice in the memorandum issued by the —and allowing 30p. more for mantlet War Office, and which are enforced and shed, two acres and a quarter is all through the medium of the lords-lieuthat is required, and 101., or, at the tenant of counties. By the 2d condition most, 15l. an acre, should be a fair com- -“Before giving his sanction for the pensation : but little real injury is done ; “ formation of any rifle corps, the Secreno fencing is required, and the occupier “ tary of State will require that safe has the herbage if the land is in grass. ranges for rifle practice be obtained of The following simple form of agreement “not less than 200 yards—this being is all that is necessary between the par- “ the minimum of any practical utility." ties; of course, any special terms inci- The words are be obtained. It is clear dent to particular cases may be added that this requirement is entirely out of but in ordinary cases, and for getting on place as a condition precedent,-it should
be assumed, in aid of the formation of maly is rendered the more striking by rifle companies, that safe ranges for rifle the fact, that the subsequent breach of practice, of not less than 200 yards, are the condition does not suspend the comobtainable in any neighbourhood; and pany; and so, while they cannot form if supervision for the protection of the without a range, they can continue withpublic is necessary, the check should out one; and, as soon as they can obtain come in its proper time, and not be ap- the promise of another, they can invite plied until the men are ready to begin a fresh inspection, which is ordered as a shooting with ball-cartridge. In its matter of course, and the only penalty regular sequence it should stand side by inflicted is that it shall take place at side with the recent War Office circular, the charge of the company.
We ask, which enjoins officers commanding not can anything be more illogical ? A to permit ball-practice until the members condition is imposed, which common have obtained the certificate of the in- sense treats as impossible by both sides spector appointed by Government. There from first to last. Still it has had a are plenty of difficulties to be overcome retarding influence, and in some inby the promoters of a volunteer rifle stances has prevented the formation of company on the threshold of the un
companies, and would have done so in dertaking, without having impossible still more, but that all prospective difficonditions imposed on them; and that culties have been disregarded in the this is impossible, if it be construed general enthusiasm that has carried out strictly, is clear, for all that can be the national will; and besides, the time assumed at the time it is insisted on is, is only now come with the majority of that there is a reasonable expectation corps that were formed at the close of that a particular range, of which the 1859 and the beginning of 1860, in inspection is invited, can be had. At which the difficulty of obtaining a good this point of time, there are no parties range is beginning to be felt. The time to bind : the captain, with whom the is also now come that this condition legal contract can alone be made, is not be swept out of the requisitions altoappointed ; the committee of manage- gether. ment, or whoever is promoting the effort, The setting up a rifle company is a can only say to the occupier of the matter of steps; and, in the ordinary land, if we succeed in forming a corps, course, the very last round of the ladder we will take such a range from you is the shooting with ball at the butts. on such terms,—to which the occupier The committee meetings, the correassents. All, however, is inchoate, in- spondence with the lord - lieutenant, complete, and prospective; it is sure the approval of the corps by her Mato be weeks, and it may be months, be- jesty, the choice of uniform, the apfore the time comes when the need of pointment of officers, the engagement the range arises ; in the interim, the mere of drill and musketry instructors, the passage of time may work changes in recruit and company drill, the position the position or will of the parties that practice and musketry lessons—these, as may prevent the carrying out the origi- well as the obtaining of the certificate of nal proposal ; fresh terms may become the inspector appointed by the Governnecessary, and a fresh status induced.
ment, all precede the actual ball practice It requires but a glance to see the false at the targets. Why then should the position the corps stands in all this obtaining the range be made the thread time; they have been formed on the upon which the whole is to depend, and faith of a condition they may be unable that at the risk of the promoters, who to fulfil, and when the time comes, have long since discharged their duties, should the arrangement fall through and have either merged into the body they are a company without a range, its of the corps, or ceased to retain all conhaving been obtained being the condition nexion with it? We have dwelt at some of their very existence. And the ano- detail on this, as it has an important bearing on that part of the case in which own act, or indict it on the criminal we insist that facilities should be afforded side of the court. At this time it is by the Legislature in procuring rifle all “quia timet," and his only remedy ranges for the Volunteers, instead of the would be by moving for an injunction hindrance which is imposed by the ope- in Chancery to restrain the ball practice. ration of the present rule.
His success here would probably depend We now approach a more interesting on the particular case ; in some instances branch of the subject, and proceed to it might be granted, while in others it inquire into the legal questions that will would be refused ; and at most, perhaps, be sure to arise out of the exercise of he might only be able to restrain the ball practice at the targets. In some practice of the company until guarantees sense it may be considered as the conflict were given to the satisfaction of the of the public with the private right, for court that proper butts would be erected it is a simple sequitur that if the volun- and all proper precautions taken ; that teer movement is meritorious, the be- the Hythe rules for shooting would be coming expert marksmen, which must strictly observed, and that all shooting be attained by practice at the butts, is would be in the presence of an officer, meritorious also. Still, in many cases, and the results duly registered. Still, a perhaps even in most, this practice will proceeding in Chancery, however quickly interfere with the enjoyment of others ; disposed of, would fall hard on the coma neighbouring owner or occupier, for pany; and few have funds to spare
for instance, can scarcely be expected to any such contingency. Again, assuming walk about his farm within reach of the the occupier to lie by and wait until shooting, inspecting crops and cattle, some stray bullet had found its way into with that calm repose, that slowness of his land, we can imagine his stumbling mind, that has been the privilege of the upon it with feelings akin to those of Baotian intellect for so many ages.
If Robinson Crusoe, when he discovered he could feel morally certain that all his the print of the foot on the sand; there volunteer friends were marksmen—that, it is, sure enough, and the next may be if they missed the target, they would at for him. Now, however, he has his least hit the butt-it might be otherwise; action of trespass, and he may sue the but he knows that with every precaution man who fired the shot, if he can find there will be some who will be sure to him out; or the officer who gave the miss not only the target, but the butt order for the practice, for the bare inalso, and that that Minié bullet has a terference of the unwelcome stranger wonderful long track of its own, and with his land. Juries would not be likely may come dropping about in a most to give him much ; but the mere flight unexpected manner. Things are a little over his soil by the bullet, though it ticklish and uncomfortable then, and his lodged in land beyond his, would entitle ear becomes “less Irish and more nice.” him to his suit; and it is this that Can he, however, complain? Can ho renders it so important that the land on insist on the reduction of rent? Has the sides and at the back of the butts he any legal redress? The volunteers should all be in one holding with the are doing no unlawful act. On the con- range itself : in such case the rights are trary, they are exercising a lawful and governed by the contract; but otherwise praiseworthy vocation. Before the ball the corps must purchase the goodwill practice begins, the occupier can only of others, if they wish for an immunity complain that he is afraid of what will from legal proceedings. It is clear, happen ; and, as the common law re- from what we have said, that if the dresses only actual injuries, he has no position of a neighbouring occupier is right of action until he is injured in ticklish from the flight of some random person or property : neither could he bullet, that of the cominanding officer treat the prospective as the existing is not less so from the not much worse nuisance, and proceed to abate it by his bullet of the law. He may be called on